#CBR8 Review #83

His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes #8) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I’m winding down to a close with the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Thanks to the hints and clues dropped in His Last Bow, I think I would enjoy the Mary Russell mysteries. The idea of Holmes beekeeping initially seems like kind of a cop-out on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s part, but Laurie R. King seems to have taken the idea and turned into something interesting and provocative. Anyway: back to this collection. I thought there were some strong adventures here, and it seems like Doyle knew he’d be wrapping up.

As I’ve done before, here are some of the most worthy entries in the collection:
“The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”: Miss Susan Cushing receives a box submission, which reveals two human ears preserved in salt. Horrified, she takes the box to Holmes and Watson, who determine to find out the two murders. In what turns out to be an intimately discomfiting story, Holmes uncovers some family secrets to reveal that the murders have hit close to home.

“The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”: a man’s family has been killed, their bodies revealing looks of horror, as if they have been scared to death. Holmes decides to investigate the houses, and he makes a decision that ends up endangering his and Watson’s lives.

“The Adventure of the Dying Detective”: Watson is summoned to see Sherlock Holmes, who is at death’s door with a rare virus. Watson does some legwork for Holmes, in order to find out who is spreading a virulent disease and save Sherlock Holmes before it is too late. There is subterfuge and delightful trickery involved in this story.

This collection of mysteries is intriguing and delightful. It’s one of the stronger collections in the series, and well worth your time. What are some of your favorite Holmes mysteries?


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